Friday, August 12, 2016

Not Quite So Stories by David S Atkinson

Rating: WORTHY!

"Broderick always did that was well." Maybe "as well?" (p4)

I'm not quite sure why this author named his set of twenty-three short stories the way he did. They have no kind of relationship to the Rudyard Kipling stories which I reviewed favorably back in December 2014, but they were different and unusual, and made no attempt at being 'literary' (trust me, that's a compliment from someone like me who gets hives when in proximity to 'literary' stories!).

I'm not a fan of collections of short stories even though I have written one myself, and the author of these seems very fond of simply ending the stories without offering any sort of a dénouement. I'm definitely in favor of less is best, but some of these seemed abrupt even by my standards! However, overall, I recommend this one as a worthy read. I'm not about to review each and every one individually, but the list below consists of all of them with a one line smart-ass comment from me.

G- Men
In which the government manages to find a way to spoil the enjoyment even of skydiving. You know what officialdom is like and it’s not like fun.

Cents Of Wonder Rhymes With Orange
In which orange is the new track-star. It either has a mind of its own - or somebody juiced it up.

Domestic Ties
If they're going to dragoon private buildings into helping out the overcrowded penal system, wouldn’t bars be better than homes, Sherlock?

Home Improvement
In which a man's home leaves him in the lurch and goes off looking for a new partner. If I had a haus for the number of times I've seen this happen, well, I'd be home & drei.

A Brief Account Of The Great Toilet Paper War Of 2012
In which the domestic bliss of ablutions is obliterated in and all-out escalating war over toilet paper and toilet seats.

The Bricklayer’s Ambiguous Morality
In which Larry is a brick, Derek is dead on his feet, and no one understands the gravity of the situation.

Changes For The Château
The Castle of Hope doesn't really offer quite the economy you might have expected on the room. Unless you're American....

Form Over Substance ≈ Eggs Over Easy
When a clown won’t leave you a loan?

Last Known Sighting Of The HMS Thousand Thread Count Sheets
Lamar is rather disturbed to discover that his beautiful hardwood floor isn't all it’s washed up to be.

Monkey! Monkey! Monkey! Monkey! Monkey!
This is what happens when somebody monkeys with a car engine.

The Elusive Qualities Of Advanced Office Equipment
Rocking bureaucracy.

Happy Trails
Six-pack leads to six-shooter?

The Boys Of Volunteer Fire Two-Twenty-Two-Point-Five (And A Half)
This was the first really dumb story, and it annoyed rather than entertained me.

The Des Moines Kabuki Dinner Theatre
Jamón para arriba a la Castellan

Turndown Service
Grave expectations.

Dreams Of Dead Grandpa
I wonder if this title ought to have been assigned to the previous story? At any rate, I only skimmed this one because it was boring.

The Onion She Carried
Some people's lives aren’t as concentric as an onion - they have only one layer and it has only one side.

Context Driven
I think this would have been more driven had it been a time travel story!

60% Rayon And 40% Evil
Bear-Faced Liar?

An Endless Series Of Meaningless Miracles
The reach of a preacher.

The Unknowable Agenda Of Ursines
And maybe this should have been the title of a previous story, too, or would that be gambling too much?

The Headshaking Disappointment Of The Misguidedly Well- Intentioned
How to get a drug user drug out of an elevator?

Up, Up, And No Way
Overflown with weirdness.